Is Greek yogurt good for you?
Making yogurt involves fermenting milk with live cultures of beneficial bacteria.
Strained Greek yogurt is lower in sugar than regular yogurt. Removing the whey produces a thicker, creamier yogurt with a tart taste.
Some manufacturers add thickening agents to regular yogurt, and market it as "Greek-style" yogurt, which may not share the same health benefits as Greek yogurt.
Also, low or no-fat Greek yogurt may not share the same health benefits as traditional Greek yogurt.
In this article, learn about eight potential health benefits of Greek yogurt, as well as how to incorporate it into a balanced diet.
8 health benefits of Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt may benefit bone health.
Eating Greek yogurt may be good for health thanks to the nutrients it contains, including:
The potential health benefits of Greek yogurt include:
1. Improving bone health
Eating Greek yogurt may improve bone health, as it is rich in calcium and protein.
2. Reducing appetite and hunger
Greek yogurt is protein-rich, so it may help people feel fuller for longer. Research suggests that people may eat less throughout the day after a meal that is high in protein.
3. Boosting metabolism
Research suggests that eating a high-protein diet may increase the number of calories a person burns per day. It is best to include some protein with every meal.
Despite its protein content, eating Greek yogurt alone is unlikely to make a person burn more calories.
But eating Greek yogurt, as part of a balanced diet that includes enough protein, fibrous carbohydrates, and healthful fats may aid weight loss and boost metabolism.
4. Improving gut health
Greek yogurt is a source of probiotics that support gut health.
But recent research raises questions about these benefits. It is possible that not everyone responds to probiotics in the same way.
A 2018 study suggests that some people's guts are resistant to the benefits of probiotics while others are more receptive.
5. Encouraging good mental health
Research suggests that consuming probiotic yogurt is beneficial for a person's mental health.
6. Building muscle mass
Protein-rich foods, such as Greek yogurt, may help build muscle mass. Research shows that a high-protein diet may increase muscle mass in people doing resistance training.
7. Lowering blood pressure
Greek yogurt is a form of probiotic fermented milk that may lower blood pressure.
A 2013 meta-analysis of 14 studies, involving more than 700 participants, found that fermented milk with probiotics helped reduce blood pressure.
However, research is not conclusive. Another study from 2015, involving 156 overweight participants, found that eating probiotic yogurt did not affect blood pressure and other cardiovascular risks.
8. Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes
Greek yogurt may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a condition that affects how the body processes blood sugar.
Researchers linked eating more yogurt, although not other dairy products, to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2014 study.
How to eat Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is an excellent topping for chili.
There are many ways to enjoy Greek yogurt, including:
- as a breakfast or dessert bowl with banana and blueberries
- as a topping for chili instead of sour cream
- as a topping for soups instead of cream
- as a spread on crackers or bread instead of butter
- as an addition to a pasta sauce for extra creaminess
Strained Greek yogurt made in a traditional way may be beneficial for a person's health.
Many of the potential health benefits of Greek yogurt relate to its high protein content. A protein-rich diet may help reduce hunger, boost metabolism, and build muscle.
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, which can help improve bone health. It also contains probiotics, which support a healthy bacterial balance in the gut.
Eating Greek yogurt may be associated with lower blood pressure and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
People can enjoy Greek yogurt as part of a healthful, balanced diet.